Jul 13, 2013

Contact with my child

Category: Family Issues
Posted By: Michael

Question: I am a single parent with a 5 year old. My ex and I live on the same street and are amicable 99% of the time. I took my daughter to NY with me for 4 days and her mother spoke to her once during that time. When we came back my daughter went to the beach for a week’s holiday with her mother.

I talked to my daughter on the second day and called again and spoke to her today, but not until I heard hell for it from her mother. She said she gets upset after we talk and that I should leave them alone for the entire week.

I want my daughter to know I care and miss her when she is away.  I would rather she learn to understand that being upset is ok but that I care about her than not talking to her at all. Thoughts?

Answer: Hi Michael, thank you for your question, it is an interesting one to think about.  In general I would be inclined to agree with you that it is important that your daughter knows that you are thinking about her and that rather than stop something that is upsetting her, she should be helped to manage her sadness or distress over any given situation.  However, I can also understand that your ex might need some space for herself and a break from upset for the week.  If you are amicable then it might be possible for you to sit down with her mother and talk about why she found it difficult to manage the situation and why she might have needed some space.

As you live on the same street as your daughter and, presumably, see her regularly then your daughter is likely to be secure in her relationship with you.  If, as a result of your discussions with her mother, you decide not to be in contact too regularly during holidays for the moment, then you could find other ways for her to keep you in mind and know that you are thinking of her.  For example a special toy that you give her just for the holiday or a scrap book with pictures and stories of the two of you to take with her.

I wish you well in finding a solution to this.  I am sure all will be well in the long run, you sound like thoughtful parents and are committed to your relationship with your daughter.

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